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No one should ever work.
Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any
evil you'd care to name comes from working or from living in a world
designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.
But modern work has worse implications. People don't just work,
they have "jobs." One person does one productive task all the time on an
or-else basis. Even if the task has a quantum of intrinsic interest (as
increasingly many jobs don't) the monotony of its obligatory exclusivity
drains its ludic potential. A "job" that might engage the energies of
some people, for a reasonably limited time, for the fun of it, is just a
burden on those who have to do it for forty hours a week with no say in
how it should be done, for the profit of owners who contribute nothing
to the project, and with no opportunity for sharing tasks or spreading
the work among those who actually have to do it. This is the real world
of work: a world of bureaucratic blundering, of sexual harassment and
discrimination, of bonehead bosses exploiting and scapegoating their
subordinates who -- by any rational-technical criteria -- should be
calling the shots. But capitalism in the real world subordinates the
rational maximization of productivity and profit to the exigencies of
Let's pretend for a moment that work doesn't turn people into
stultified submissives. Let's pretend, in defiance of any plausible
psychology and the ideology of its boosters, that it has no effect on
the formation of character. And let's pretend that work isn't as boring
and tiring and humiliating as we all know it really is. Even then, work
would *still* make a mockery of all humanistic and democratic
aspirations, just because it usurps so much of our time. Socrates said
that manual laborers make bad friends and bad citizens because they have
no time to fulfill the responsibilities of friendship and citizenship.
He was right. Because of work, no matter what we do we keep looking at
out watches. The only thing "free" about so-called free time is that it
doesn't cost the boss anything. Free time is mostly devoted to getting
ready for work, going to work, returning from work, and recovering from
work. Free time is a euphemism for the peculiar way labor as a factor of
production not only transports itself at its own expense to and from the
workplace but assumes primary responsibility for its own maintenance and
repair. Coal and steel don't do that. Lathes and typewriters don't do
that. But workers do. No wonder Edward G. Robinson in one of his
gangster movies exclaimed, "Work is for saps!"
I don't suggest that most work is salvageable in this way. But
then most work isn't worth trying to save. Only a small and diminishing
fraction of work serves any useful purpose independent of the defense
and reproduction of the work-system and its political and legal
appendages. Twenty years ago, Paul and Percival Goodman estimated that
just five percent of the work then being done -- presumably the figure,
if accurate, is lower now -- would satisfy our minimal needs for food,
clothing, and shelter. Theirs was only an educated guess but the main
point is quite clear: directly or indirectly, most work serves the
unproductive purposes of commerce or social control. Right off the bat
we can liberate tens of millions of salesmen, soldiers, managers, cops,
stockbrokers, clergymen, bankers, lawyers, teachers, landlords, security
guards, ad-men and everyone who works for them. There is a snowball
effect since every time you idle some bigshot you liberate his flunkeys
and underlings also. Thus the economy *implodes*.
why is unskilled manual labor so much higher than it would be in a more primitive society?
Originally posted by coronamoz
everything centered around sex and leisure time.
Originally posted by LordGoofus
People need to work. Everyone needs a role in society otherwise society would fall. Who's gonna drive the taxi so you can go into town?
Originally posted by LordGoofus
People need to work. Everyone needs a role in society otherwise society would fall. Who's gonna drive the taxi so you can go into town? Who is going to open the shop so you can buy food? Who is going to handle your finances so you can pay for the food? Who is going to grow the food for you? Who's going to deliver it to the shop so you can buy it?